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World War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind.

However, the half century that now separates us from that conflict has exacted its toll on our collective knowledge. While World War II continues to absorb the interest of military scholars and historians, as well as its veterans, a generation of Americans has grown to maturity largely unaware of the political, social, and military implications of a war that, more than any other, united us as a people with a common purpose. When the Germans invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 the world went to war for the second time in 27 years. One country, albeit overtly expansionist in its aims, had simply invaded another, but the omens were not good. Unbelievably, so soon after 'the war that will end war', nations and their leaders had allowed another conflict to threaten the planet. The scope of this new war was not yet apparent, the truth dawning gradually; this one would last six years, involve more than two hundred countries which caused millions of people to suffer, costing 55 million lives and material damage of some 3 billion dollars, it affected the lives of three quarters of the worlds population and influence the lives of the majority of the world's inhabitants to some degree This war was fought on the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Pacific, and in four major land campaigns, in the Soviet Union, North Africa and the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Far East. No less than 56 countries were involved in these violent conflicts, most of which were fought out to the bitter end between equally well-trained and wellequipped armies, battling day and night for dear life. It was a war that was more cruel, bitter and extensive than any other war in history. The war against Japan was fought over two-thirds of the world's surface, with America and her allies taking part in vast air, land and sea battles. It turned WW II into global conflict and ended it with the drawning of nuclear era.
Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities. These deaths make the war the deadliest conflict in human history. Time goes by and

because we now live in harmony together, yesterdays enemy has become todays friendly neighbour. . Within months of the German move into Poland much of Europe had been occupied by the rampaging Blitzkrieg techniques of the Third Reich's military forces and everyone, even residents of far distant nations, was 'at war', their resources in men and material committed to the cause, on one side or the other. The Battle of Britain was at its height, Hitler's plans to invade England were close to being given the 'green light', and an awful dread filled many a heart.

The main causes of World War II were nationalistic tensions, unresolved issues, and resentments resulting from theWorld War I and the interwar period in Europe, plus the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s. The culmination of events that led to the outbreak of war are generally understood to be the 1939 invasion of Poland byGermany and Soviet Russia and the 1937 invasion of the Republic of China by the Empire of Japan. These military aggressions were the result of decisions made by the authoritarian ruling Nazi elite in Germany and by the leadership of the Kwantung Army in Japan. World War II started after these aggressive actions were met with an official declaration of war and/or armed resistance.

Aftermath of WW1 leading to the great depression

After four years at war, the worlds' economy had been drained. Britain, whose economy had relied on trading, faced serious economic problems. 40% of its merchant fleets had been destroyed by German submarines in the war, making it difficult to export goods. Other countries imposed high tariffs on imports to protect their own industries, but this hurt Britain's economy. Britain's old and outdated factories, machines, and mines also hurt its industries. Germany was also hit hard by the aftermath of the war. In an attempt to find money to pay its $33 billion debt in reparations, Germany printed an abundance of paper money. However, this merely led to severe inflation. In 1923, the value of German money dropped so significantly that one had to fill a wheelbarrow with cash simply to buy a loaf of bread (p 649, Beers). In 1921, Warren Harding became the new president of the United States. Under Harding, America's unemployment rate plummeted from 11.7% to 2.1% between 1921 and 1923. Technology was booming: electrical appliances and packaged food maid daily life easier, while radios, movies, air travel, international airmail,and automobiles all became more common. American farmers, however, were not faring well as crops were being cheaply imported from Europe again. There was no longer a high demand for American crops as there had been during the war.
America's economy took a turn for the worse in October 1929 when the stock market crashed. This caused The Great Depression: a time of slow business, high unemployment, low prices, and low wages (p 656, Beers). As 85,000 businesses failed, unemployment shot up from 3.2% in 1929 to 23.6% in 1932 (p 656, Beers). Banks were forced to close as they

had loaned money to European and American businesses and didn't have enough money to honor the deposits.
The Treaty of Versailles was neither lenient enough to appease Germany, nor harsh enough to prevent it from becoming the dominant continental power again. The treaty placed the blame, or "war guilt" on Germany and Austria-Hungary, and punished them for their "responsibility" rather than working out an agreement that would assure long-term peace. The treaty resulted in harsh monetary reparations, separated millions of ethnic Germans into neighboring countries, territorial dismemberment, caused mass ethnic resettlement and caused hyperinflation of the German currency (see Inflation in the Weimar Republic). The Weimar Republic printed trillions of marks and borrowed heavily from the United States (to later default) to pay war reparations to Britain and France, who still carried war debt from World War I.
Failure of the Treaty of Versailles: The treaty signed after World War I treated Germany very harshly and was greatly resented by the German people. The size of Germany's military was severely restricted. Germany lost territory in Europe and was forced to give up territories from its overseas colonies. Germany was ordered to pay $33 billion in reparations (war damages).

Germany's reaction to Treaty of Versailles

No postwar German government believed it could accept such a burden on future generations and survive.[7] Paying reparations is a classic punishment of war but in this instance it was the extreme immoderation (History) that caused German resentment. Germany made its last WWI reparation payment on 3 October 2010,[10] ninety-two years after the end of WWI. Germany also fell behind in their coal payments. They fell behind because of a passive resistance movement against the French.[11] In response, the French invaded the Ruhr, the region filled with German coal, and occupied it. At this point the majority of Germans were enraged with the French and placed the blame for their humiliation on the Weimar Republic. Adolf Hitler, a leader of the Nazi Party, attempted a coup dtat against the republic to establish a Greater German Reich[12] known as the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. Although this failed, Hitler gained recognition as a national hero amongst the German population. The demilitarized Rhineland and additional cutbacks on military infuriated the Germans. Although it is logical that France would want the Rhineland to be a neutral zone, the fact that France had the power to make that desire happen merely added on to the resentment of the Germans against the French. In addition, the Treaty of Versailles dissolved the German general staff and possession of navy ships, aircraft,poison gas, tanks, and heavy artillery was made illegal. [9] The humiliation of being bossed around by the victor countries, especially France, and being stripped of their prized military made the Germans resent the Weimar Republic and idolize anyone who stood up to it. [edit]Adolf Hitler's Rise to Power

Adolf Hitler stood up to the Weimar Republic and that gave hope to the emotionally defeated people of Germany. The birth of the Weimar Republic is associated with the humiliation of accepting the Versailles Treaty so it automatically had several enemies and Germans were extremely dissatisfied with it. With the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923[13] and Hitlers continual rise to fame and popularity, Hitler was appointed as chancellor in 1933. [14] Because of the extravagant demands of the French on the Germans for a war the Germans did not believe they lost, Germans looked towards Adolf Hitler to save them.

This left Germany with grievances. In the Great Depression, which hit Germany early in 1930, unemployment was at terrible levels. Hitler made it his responsibility to defy all of the charges made on Germany through the Treaty. He re-armed the nation, built up a massive army, re-militarized the Rhineland, and threatened neighboring states. It was obvious he was preparing for war. Economic Depression and Instability:

The Great World Depression in 1929 became a very important cause of the war. It sent the German economy into a great disaster, causing a humongous number of unemployed people. In the book Causes and Consequences of World War Two it is written that, to the Germans, Hitler was now a strong, determined, and efficient leader who knew exactly where he was going. But did the people actually know where he was leading them? No, the people believed that Hitler was leading them out of the depression; but, in actuality, Hitler's motives were different from what the people thought they were. He used the Great Depression to connive his way into authority. His real motives were to abolish the Treaty of Versailles, expand German territory, and dominate Europe and the whole world. In order to achieve these goals he first wanted to conquer France and Russia while he was still on the same side as Italy and Britain. He believed that Italy and Britain would stay to his side until he began the full destruction of the Jews.

If there had been no Great Depression, do you think World War 2 would still have happened? The political climate created by this depression allowed dictators such as Hitler to rise to power.

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s.[1] It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century.[2] In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline.[2] The depression originated in the U.S., starting with the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929 and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday). From there, it quickly spread to almost every country in the world. The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%.[3] Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60%.[4][5][6] Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most.[7]

Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. In many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the start of World War II.[8]

aggressive nationalism

The Treaty of Versailles was seen as particularly unfair by those Germans who accepted the myth that Germany was never defeated on the battlefield in WWI - a myth propagated by Field Marshals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, even though they were the

two who told the government to seek an armistice. Yet the treaty itself is not what started WWII (though it didn't stop it from happening). Rather, it was the unwillingness of Great Powers such as Great Britain and France, along with the the League of Nations, to uphold the treaty provisions. When Germany announced that it had an air force; that they were re-introducing military conscription; that they were re-occupying the demilitarized Rhineland; and that they had reached a naval agreement with Great Britain that allowed them to build a navy thirty-five percent the size of Great Britain's (roughly the size of France's) -- the League of Nations only provided paper protests and the Versailles treaty became as dead as a doornail. WWII was started not only by Hitler's aspirations, but by an enfeebled West which did not comprehend the magnitude of its inaction. Leading up to the war, some European countries had weakened their own military forces (Denmark had basically disarmed itself, which made it the almost ideal trampoline for German forces into Norway) or had grown wary of enforcing the Treaty of Versailles despite the fact that a known madman had come to the helm in Germany. Also in 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power as dictator of Germany and began to rearm the country in contravention of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. He denounced the provisions of that treaty that limited German armament and in 1935 re-instituted compulsory military service. That same year the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini began his long-contemplated invasion of Ethiopia, which he desired as an economic colony. The League voted minor sanctions against Italy, but these had little practical effect. British and French efforts to effect a compromise settlement failed, and Ethiopia was completely occupied by the Italians in 1936. Hitler re-militarized the Rhineland in 1936. It was a dangerous venture, for Britain and France could have overwhelmed Germany, but, resolved to keep the peace, they took no action. Emboldened by this success, Hitler intensified his campaign for Lebensraum (living space) for the German people. He annexed Austria in March 1938, and then, charging abuse of German minorities, threatened Czechoslovakia. In September 1938, as Hitler increased his demands on the Czechs and war seemed imminent, the British and French arranged a conference with Hitler and Mussolini. At the Munich Conference they agreed to German occupation of the Sudetenland, Hitler's asserted last claim, in the hope of maintaining peace. This hope was short lived, for in March 1939 Hitler took over the rest of Czechoslovakia and seized the former German port of Memel from Lithuania. There followed demands on Poland with regard to Danzig (Gdansk) and the Polish Corridor. The Poles remained adamant, and it became clear to Hitler that he could attain his objectives only by force. After surprising the world with the announcement of a nonaggression pact with his sworn foe, the Soviet Union, he sent his armies across the Polish border on Sept. 1, 1939. Fascism, Nationalism, Totalitarianism, and Collectivist Ideology:

Fascists fully support the military and feel war is acceptable in achieving national goals. Because of this, Italy and Germany were prepared to follow this policy and expand and form empires of their own. Germany wanted to unite the dominant German "race." This led to the Czech crisis. Extreme fear of Bolshevism, deliberately encouraged by hard line nationalists, like Hitler and Mussolini. Hitler saw it as his mission in life to eliminate Bolshevism and what he saw as its "biological root," the Jews.

In November 1917, in a coup, the Bolsheviks took power. When free elections resulted in the Bolsheviks' winning only a small number of seats to the new Parliament Lenin shut it down after only one day of being in session. Lenin and the Bolsheviks intended to bring the people to socialism, in spite of the people's own desires. Then, the Marxian path to the paradise-to-come was travelled

even further under Stalin with forced collectivization of land, central planning, mass purges of all "enemies of the people," and the Gulag. In Italy, social unrest, communist agitation and disillusionment with the war created the conditions for the emergence of Mussolini and his fascist movement. The "march an Rome" in 1922 brought the fascists to power. Within a few years, they were instituting their version of the collectivist utopia of the future: corporativism. All industry and trade were subordinate to the interests of the nation. The state was supreme and the individual was the means to its end. To express this concept, Mussolini coined the term "totalitarianism."
In the 1920s, a weak, democratic government in Germany served as the background for the emergence of radical political movements. Hitler and the Nazis insisted that Germany had been victimized by the Allied powers, who had labeled Germany as the sole aggressor in World War 1. And Germany was now burdened by oppressive reparations payments caused by the "betrayal" of the German people by the social democrats. With rising unemployment and economic dislocation following the start of the Great Depression in 1929, the Nazis came to power in 1933. They promised to bring economic recovery, to purge Germany of the "alien Jewish element," and to reestablish Germany's rightful place in the world. By 1936, the Nazis had put into place their own version of the corporativist planned-economy. Moreover, through state education and a vast propaganda machine, they had instituted their ideology of racism and territorial aggrandizement.

Japanese imperialism
At the end of World War I, the victorious nations formed the League of Nations for the purpose of airing international disputes, and of mobilizing its members for a collective effort to keep the peace in the event of aggression by any nation against another or of a breach of the peace treaties. The United States, imbued with isolationism, did not become a member. The Soviet Union was not admitted till 1935 ... The League failed in its first test. In 1931, the Japanese, using as an excuse the explosion of a small bomb under a section of track of the South Manchuria Railroad (over which they had virtual control), initiated military operations designed to conquer all of Manchuria. After receiving the report of its commission of inquiry, the League adopted a resolution in 1933 calling on the Japanese to withdraw. Thereupon, Japan resigned from the League. Meanwhile, Manchuria had been overrun and transformed into a Japanese puppet state under the name of Manchukuo. Beset by friction and dissension among its members, the League took no further action. Japan was trying to gain natural resources to feed its industry. Japan has almost no natural resources itself. It attacked the US to "clear the way" for its conquest of American, Dutch, British, and Australian colonies and gain their resources.

Expansionism: The war was caused by the expansionist desires of Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese imperialists. Germany, Italy and Japan wanted to conquer new territories and enslave or exterminate the peoples living there.

The war in Europe was caused by the German invasion of Poland and the war in Asia was triggered by the Japanese invasion of China. The key cause of the war in Europe was Hitler's agenda of conquest and Japan's expansionism.

difference in German and Russian ideology Anti-communism

Main article: Anti-communism The internationalist minded, radical Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in November 1917 and subsequently supported attempts to set up similar regimes elsewhere, with brief success in Hungary and Bavaria. This caused many central and western Europeans (and Americans) to fear that a violent Communist revolution would overwhelm their own countries. Beginning in 1919 the victorious Entente Powers established a cordon sanitaire of border states on Russia's western frontier in the hope of quarantining Communism in Russia. Both Italian and German fascism were in part a reaction to international communist socialist uprisings, in conjunction with nationalist fears of the Slavic empire. A further factor in Germany was the success of Freikorps (voluntary paramilitary groups of discharged soldiers) in crushing the Bolshevik Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich in 1919. Many of these veterans became early components of the Nazis' SA, which would be the party's troops in the street warfare with the Communist armed militia in the decade before 1933. The street violence would help shift moderate opinion towards the need for Germany to find an anti-Communist strongman to restore stability to German life. [edit]Expansionism


Expansionism is the doctrine of expanding the territorial base (or economic influence) of a country, usually by means of military aggression. At the time of World War II, various European powers (such as France, the United Kingdom, and Russia/the Soviet Union) had long held large amounts of territory under imperial or colonial rule. Germany and Italy had not been as successful as the other Great Powers in gaining and holding territory. In Europe, Italys Benito Mussolini sought to create a New Roman Empire based around the Mediterranean and invaded Albania in early 1939, at the start of the war, and later invaded Greece. Italy had also invaded Ethiopia as early as 1935. This provoked little response from the League of Nations and the former Allied powers, a reaction to empire-building that was common throughout the war-weary and depressed economy of the 1930s. Germany came to Mussolini's aid on several occasions. Italys expansionist desires can be tied to bitterness over minimal gains after helping the Allies achieve victory in World War I. By the Treaty of London, Italy had been promised large chunks of Austrian territory but received only Trentino-Alto Adige/Sdtirol, and promises believed to have been made about Albania and Asia Minor were ignored by the more powerful nations' leaders. After World War I, the German state had lost land to Lithuania, France, Poland, and Denmark. Notable losses included the Polish Corridor, Danzig, the Memel Territory (to Lithuania), the Province of Posen, the French province of Alsace-Lorraine, and the most economically valuable eastern portion of Upper Silesia. The economically valuable regions of the Saarland and the Rhineland were placed under the authority (but not jurisdiction) of France.

The result of this loss of land was population relocation, bitterness among Germans, and also difficult relations with those in these neighboring countries, contributing to feelings ofrevanchism which inspired irredentism. Under the Nazi regime, Germany began its own program of expansion, seeking to restore the "rightful" boundaries of preWorld War I Germany, resulting in the reoccupation of the Rhineland and action in the Polish Corridor, leading to a perhaps inevitable war with Poland. However, because of Allied appeasement and prior inaction, Hitler estimated that he could invade Poland, and Russia without provoking a general war or, at the worst, only spark weak Allied intervention after the result was already decided. Also, of importance was the idea of a Greater Germany, supporters hoped to unite the German people under one nation, which included all territories where Germans lived, disregarding the fact of them being minority in this territory. Germany's preWorld War II ambitions in both Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia mirror this goal. After the Treaty of Versailles, an Anschluss, or union, between Germany and a newly reformed Austria was prohibited by the Allies. Such a plan of unification, predating the creation of the German State of 1871, had been discarded because of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's multiethnic composition as well as competition between Prussia and Austria for hegemony. At the end of World War I, the majority of Austria's population supported such a union. The Soviet Union had lost large parts of former Russian Empire territories to Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in World War I and the Russian Civil War and was interested in regaining lost territories. Also during the Russo-Japanese war some territories had been lost to Japan. Hungary, an ally of Germany during World War I, had also been stripped of enormous territories after the partition of the Austria-Hungary empire and hoped to regain those lands by allying with Germany. Greater Hungary was a popular topic of discussion. Romania, while on the winning side in World War I, found itself on the losing side in early stages of World War II. As result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Bessarabia and NorthernBukovina were ceded to the Soviet Union; the Second Vienna Award resulted in the loss of Northern Transylvania to Hungary, and the Treaty of Craiova resulted in the return ofSouthern Dobruja to Bulgaria. Greater Romania was a concept that caused Romania to side more and more with Germany. Bulgaria, also an ally of Germany during World War I, had lost territories to Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia in World War I and the Second Balkan War. Finland lost territory to the Soviet Union during the early stages of World War II in the lopsided Winter War. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, Finland was drawn into what was called the Continuation War to regain what it had lost. In Asia, Japan harbored expansionist desires, fuelled at least partially by the minimal gains the Japanese saw after World War I. Despite having taken a German colony in China and a few other Pacific islands, as well as swaths of Siberia and the Russian port of Vladivostok, Japan was forced to give up all but the few islands it had gained during World War I. Thailand had lost territories to France, the United Kingdom and in Germany, in the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, and wanted to regain those areas. In many of these cases, the roots of the expansionism leading to World War II can be found in perceived national

slights resulting from previous involvement in World War I, nationalistic goals of re-unification of former territories or dreams of an expanded empire. [edit]Fascism Main article: Fascism Fascism is a philosophy of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often has a policy of belligerent nationalism that gained power in many countries across Europe in the years leading up to World War II. In general, it believes that the government should control industry and people for the good of the country. In many ways, fascism viewed the army as a model that a whole society should emulate. Fascist countries were highly militaristic, and the need for individual heroism was an important part of fascist ideology. In his book The Doctrine of Fascism, Benito Mussolini declared that "fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace".[1] Fascists believed that war was generally a positive force for improvement and were therefore eager at the prospect of a new European war. Fascism ultimately proved to be one of the beliefs that was universal with many invading Axis countries. [edit]Militarism Main article: Militarism-Socialism in Showa Japan A highly militaristic and aggressive attitude prevailed among the leaders of Germany, Japan and Italy. Compounding this fact was the traditional militant attitude of the three had a similar track record that is often underestimated. For example, Germany introduced permanent conscription in 1935, with a clear aim of rebuilding its army (and defying the Treaty of Versailles). [edit]Nationalism Nationalism is the belief that groups of people are bound together by territorial, cultural and ethnic links. Nationalism was used by their leaders to generate public support in Germany, already a nation where fervent nationalism was prevalent. In Italy, the idea of restoring the Roman Empire was attractive to many Italians. In Japan, nationalism, in the sense of duty and honor, especially to the emperor, had been widespread for centuries. [edit]Racism Main articles: Racial policy of Nazi Germany and Drang nach Osten Further information: Xenophobia in Showa Japan and Eugenics in Showa Japan

Twentieth-century events marked the culmination of a millennium-long process of intermingling between Germans and Slavs. Over the years, many Germans had settled to the east (the Volga Germans). Such migratory patterns created enclaves and blurred ethnic frontiers. By the 19th and 20th centuries, these migrations had acquired considerable political implications. The rise of the nation-state had given way to the politics of identity, including Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism. Furthermore, Social-Darwinist theories framed the coexistence as a "Teuton vs. Slav" struggle for domination, land and limited resources. Integrating these ideas into their own world-view, the Nazis believed that the Germans, the "Aryan race", were the master race and that the Slavs were inferior. During World War II, Hitler used racism against "Non-Aryan" peoples.

immediate cause German invasion of Poland Hitler invaded Poland, Britain and France then declared war on Germany.
Tensions had existed between Poland and Germany for some time in regards to the Free City of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, and there is some debate over a claim that Poland had, in 1933, tried to get France to join it in preventive attack after Nazis won in Germany.[31] This had been settled in 1934 by a non-aggression pact but in spring of 1939, tensions rose again. Hitler used the issue of the status city as pretext for attacking Poland, while explaining during a high level meeting of German military officials in May 1933 that his real goal is obtaining Lebensraum for Germany, isolating Poles from their Allies in the West and afterwards attacking Poland, thus avoiding the repeat of Czech situation[32][33][34][35][36] Shortly after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had been signed, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France had previously warned that they would honor their alliances to Poland and issued an ultimatum to Germany: withdraw or war would be declared. Germany declined, and what became World War II was declared by the British and French, without entering the war effectively. The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east on September 17. The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War (Polish: Kampania wrzeniowa or Wojna obronna 1939 roku) in Poland and the Poland Campaign (German: Polenfeldzug) in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. The invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, and ended on 6 October 1939 with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland. The morning after the Gleiwitz incident, German forces invaded Poland from the north, south, and west. As the Germans advanced, Polish forces withdrew from their forward bases of operation close to the Polish-German border to more established lines of defence to the east. After the midSeptember Polish defeat in the Battle of the Bzura, the Germans gained an undisputed advantage. Polish forces then withdrew to the southeast where they prepared for a long defence of the Romanian Bridgehead and awaited expected support and relief from France and the United Kingdom.[14] The two countries had pacts with Poland and had declared war on Germany on 3 September, though in the end their aid to Poland in the September campaign was very limited. The Soviet Red Army's invasion of Eastern Poland on 17 September, in accordance with a secret protocol of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact, rendered the Polish plan of defence obsolete.[15] Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered an emergency evacuation of all troops to neutral Romania.[16] On 6 October, following the Polish defeat at the Battle of Kock, German and Soviet forces gained full control over Poland. The success of the invasion marked the end of the Second Polish Republic, though Poland never formally surrendered. On 8 October, after an initial period of military administration, Germany directly annexed western Poland and the formerFree City of Danzig and placed the remaining block of territory under the administration of the newly established General Government. The Soviet Union incorporated its newly acquired areas into its constituent Belarusian and Ukrainian republics, and immediately started a campaign of sovietization. This included staged elections, the results of which were used to legitimize the Soviet Union's annexation of eastern Poland. In the aftermath of the invasion, a

collective of underground resistance organizations formed the Polish Underground State within the territory of the former Polish state. Many of the military exiles that managed to escape Poland subsequently joined the Polish Armed Forces in the West, an armed force loyal to the Polish government in exile.


diplomatic strategy

In 1940, a trip to Italy was made by British amateur diplomat James Lonsdale-Bryans. The trip, which was arranged with the support ofLord Halifax, was to meet with German ambassador Ulrich von Hassell. Lonsdale-Bryans proposed a deal whereby Germany would be given a free hand in Europe, while the British Empire would control the rest of the world. It is unclear to what extent this proposal enjoyed the official backing of the British Foreign Office. Halifax himself had met with Hitler in 1937.[37][38]
World War Two began in September 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Germany following Germany's invasion of Poland. Although the outbreak of war was triggered by Germany's invasion of Poland, the causes of the war are more complex. Alliances: Britain and France's treaty with Poland expanded what might otherwise have been a 'local' war into something much bigger. If they had instead decided to not fulfill their obligations under the treaty the war in Europe might very well have ended up with just a war between Germany and Russia. The view that the Versailles Treaty was too onerous, and that this is the cause of World War II, is an American high school history teacher's myth. It is a view that can be traced to the isolationists of the 1920s, who declared that World War I had been a mistake, and resisted American preparations for and involvement in World War II right up until Pearl Harbor. Although the Versailles Treaty imposed monetary reparations on the Germany, Allied assistance to the Weimar Republic, both through the Dawes Plan and through investment in Germany during the 1920s, greatly exceeded the reparations taken from Germany under provisions of the Versailles Treaty. Readers would do well to revisit a forgotten treaty, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918), to see what peace conditions imperial Germany imposed on Russia (the Soviet Union) as the price of peace after the Russians were defeated and forced out of the war in 1917. More Input:

Commonly held underlying causes for WWII are the rise of nationalism, the rise of militarism, and the presence of unresolved territorial issues. Fascist movements emerged in Italy and Germany during the global economic instability of the 1920s, and consolidated power during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In Germany, resentment of the Treaty of Versailles, the belief in the Dolchstosslegende, and the onset of the Great Depression fueled the rise to power of the militarist National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazi party), led by Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, the Treaty's provisions were laxly enforced from fear of another war. Closely related is the failure of the British and French policy of appeasement, which sought to avoid war but actually encouraged Hitler to become bolder and gave Germany time to re-arm, and the USSR's signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which freed Germany of fear of reprisal from the Soviet Union when Germany invaded Poland. The League of Nations, despite its efforts to prevent the war, relied on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, and was unable to prevent the start of The Second World War. Japan in the 1930s was ruled by a militarist clique devoted to becoming a world power. Japan invaded China to bolster its meager stock of natural resources. The United States

and Great Britain reacted by making loans to China, providing covert military assistance, and instituting increasingly broad embargoes of raw materials against Japan. These embargoes would have eventually forced Japan to give up its newly conquered possession in China because the Japanese would not have enough fuel to run their war machine; Japan was faced with the choice of withdrawing from China or going to war with the United States in order to conquer the oil resources of the Dutch East Indies. It chose the latter, and went ahead with plans for the Greater East Asia War in the Pacific. Germany invaded Poland , therefore Britain and France declared war on Germany on Sept, 1939. The USA entered the war on Dec.7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. As for the Pacific War, Japan had long been coveting Mainland resources, invading China and (en route) Korea for centuries. Under the guise of The Co-Prosperity Sphere (8Lands Under One Umbrella), Japan plotted an imperial takeover of Asia and the Pacific a la Western Imperialism less than a century earlier. The US opposed this movement and placed embargoes on Japan. Searching for supplies and rebelling against US intervention, Japan embarked on its Oriental conquest. Hoping to keep the US Air Force out of Japan's way, Adm. Yamamoto led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Some historians, such as Arno Mayer, see the two World Wars (at least in Europe) as essentially one war with a twenty-year truce. However, this view should not be taken literally. One of Arno Mayer's key points is that throughout the period from about 19001945 the traditional elites (especially the aristocracy) were having immense difficulty preserving their position in industrialized societies and were keen to divert conflict abroad, and away from domestic politics. This was a key factor in the enthusiasm for nationalism. The rise of Communism from 1917 onwards was seen as a particularly powerful threat. Hitler invaded Poland, Britain and France then declared war on Germany. World War Two began in September 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Germany following Germany's invasion of Poland. Although the outbreak of war was triggered by Germany's invasion of Poland, the causes of the war are more complex.

At the end of the first world war it had been possible to contemplate going back to business as usual. However, 1945 was different, so different that it has been called Year Zero. The capacity for destruction had been so much greater than in the earlier war that much of Europe and Asia lay in ruins. And this time civilians had been the target as much as the military. The figures are hard to grasp: as many as 60 million dead, 25 million of them Soviet. A new word, genocide, entered the language to deal with the murder of 6 million of Europe's Jews by the Nazis. During the war, millions more had fled their homes or been forcibly moved to work in Germany or Japan or, in the case of the Soviet Union, because Stalin feared that they might be traitors. Now, in 1945, another new word appeared, the DP, or "displaced person". There were millions of them, some voluntary refugees moving westward in the face of the advancing Red Army, others deported as undesirable minorities. The newly independent Czech state expelled nearly 3 million ethnic Germans in the years after 1945, and Poland a further 1.3 million. Everywhere there were lost or orphaned children, 300,000 alone in Yugoslavia. Thousands of unwanted babies added to the misery. It is impossible to know how many women in Europe were raped by the Red Army soldiers, who saw them as part of the spoils of war, but in Germany alone some 2 million women had abortions every year between 1945 and 1948. The allies did what they could to feed and house the refugees and to reunite families that had been forcibly torn apart, but the scale of the task and the obstacles were enormous. The majority of ports in Europe and many in Asia had been destroyed or badly damaged; bridges

had been blown up; railway locomotives and rolling stock had vanished. Great cities such as Warsaw, Kiev, Tokyo and Berlin were piles of rubble and ash. In Germany, it has been estimated, 70% of housing had gone and, in the Soviet Union, 1,700 towns and 70,000 villages. Factories and workshops were in ruins, fields, forests and vineyards ripped to pieces. Millions of acres in north China were flooded after the Japanese destroyed the dykes. Many Europeans were surviving on less than 1,000 calories per day; in the Netherlands they were eating tulip bulbs. Apart from the United States and allies such as Canada and Australia, who were largely unscathed by the war's destruction, the European powers such as Britain and France had precious little to spare. Britain had largely bankrupted itself fighting the war and France had been stripped bare by the Germans. They were struggling to look after their own peoples and deal with reincorporating their military into civilian society. The four horsemen of the apocalypse pestilence, war, famine and death so familiar during the middle ages, appeared again in the modern world. New 'superpowers' Politically, the impact of the war was also great. The once great powers of Japan and Germany looked as though they would never rise again. In retrospect, of course, it is easy to see that their peoples, highly educated and skilled, possessed the capacity to rebuild their shattered societies. (And it may have been easier to build strong economies from scratch than the partially damaged ones of the victors.) Two powers, so great that the new term "superpower" had to be coined for them, dominated the world in 1945. The United States was both a military power and an economic one; the Soviet Union had only brute force and the intangible attraction of Marxist ideology to keep its own people down and manage its newly acquired empire in the heart of Europe. The great European empires, which had controlled so much of the world, from Africa to Asia, were on their last legs and soon to disappear in the face of their own weakness and rising nationalist movements. We should not view the war as being responsible for all of this, however; the rise of the US and the Soviet Union and the weakening of the European empires had been happening long before 1939. The war acted as an accelerator. It also accelerated change in other ways: in science and technology, for example. The world got atomic weapons but it also got atomic power. Under the stimulus of war, governments poured resources into developing new medicines and technologies. Without the war, it would have taken us much longer, if ever, to enjoy the benefits of penicillin, microwaves, computers the list goes on. In many countries, social change also speeded up. The shared suffering and sacrifice of the war years strengthened the belief in most democracies that governments had an obligation to provide basic care for all citizens. When it was elected in the summer of 1945, for example, the Labour government in Britain moved rapidly to establish the welfare state. The rights of women also took a huge step forward as their contribution to the war effort, and their share in the suffering, were recognised. In France and Italy, women finally got the vote. If class divisions in Europe and Asia did not disappear, the moral authority and prestige of the ruling classes had been severely undermined by their failure to prevent the war or the crimes that they had condoned before and during it. Established political orders fascist, conservative, even democratic came under challenge as peoples looked for new ideas and leaders. In Germany and Japan, democracy slowly took root. In China, people turned increasingly from the corrupt and incompetent nationalists to the communists. While many Europeans, wearied by years of war and privation, gave up on politics altogether and faced the future with glum pessimism, others hoped that, at last, the

time had come to build a new and better society. In western Europe, voters turned to social democratic parties such as the Labour party in Britain. In the east, the new communist regimes that were imposed by the triumphant Soviet Union were at first welcomed by many as the agents of change. The end of the war inevitably also brought a settling of scores. In many parts people took measures into their own hands. Collaborators were beaten, lynched or shot. Women who had fraternised with German soldiers had their heads shaved or worse. Governments sometimes followed suit, setting up special courts for those who had worked with the enemy and purging such bodies as the civil service and the police. The Soviets also tried to exact reparations from Germany and Japan; whole factories were dismantled down to the window frames and were carted off to the Soviet Union, where they frequently rotted away. Much of the revenge was to gain advantage in the postwar world. In China and eastern Europe the communists used the accusation of collaboration with the Japanese or the Nazis to eliminate their political and class enemies. German de-Nazification The allies instituted an ambitious programme of de-Nazification in Germany, later quietly abandoned as it became clear that German society would be unworkable if all former Nazis were forbidden to work. In Japan, the head of the occupation, General Douglas MacArthur, broke up the zaibatsu, the big conglomerates that were blamed for supporting the Japanese militarists, and introduced a range of reforms, from a new school curriculum to a democratic constitution, that were designed to turn Japan into a peaceable democratic nation. In both Germany and Japan, the victors set up special tribunals to try those responsible for crimes against peace, war crimes, and the catalogue of horrors that came increasingly to be known as "crimes against humanity". In Tokyo, leading Japanese generals and politicians, and at Nuremberg, senior Nazis (those that had not committed suicide or escaped), stood in the dock before allied judges. Not a few people then and since wondered if the trials were merely victors' justice, their moral authority undercut by the presence, in Nuremberg, of judges and prosecutors from Stalin's murderous regime, and by the fact that in Tokyo, the emperor, in whose name the crimes had been committed, was shielded from blame. The trials, inconclusive though they were, formed part of a larger attempt to root out the militaristic and chauvinistic attitudes that had helped to produce the war, and to build a new world order that would prevent such a catastrophe from ever happening again. Well before the war had ended, the allies had started planning for the peace. Among the western powers, the United States, by 1945 very much the dominant partner in the alliance, took the lead. In his Four Freedoms speech of January 1941, President Roosevelt talked of a new and more just world, with freedom of speech and expression and of religion, and freedom from want and fear. In the Atlantic charter later that year, he and Churchill sketched out a world order based on such liberal principles as collective security, national self-determination, and free trade among nations. A host of other allies, some of them represented by governments in exile, signed on. The Soviet Union gave a qualified assent, although its leader Stalin had no intention of following what were to him alien principles. Roosevelt intended that the American vision should take solid institutional form. The key organisation was the United Nations, designed to be stronger than the League of Nations, which it was replacing, and the economic ones known collectively as the Bretton Woods system, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs. This time, Roosevelt was determined, the United States should join. Stalin again gave grudging support.

Common humanity While much of what Roosevelt hoped for did not come about, it was surely a step forward for international relations that such institutions were created and largely accepted and, equally important, that they were underpinned by notions of a common humanity possessing the same universal rights. The idea that there were universal standards to be upheld was present, no matter how imperfectly, in the war crimes trials, and was later reinforced by the establishment of the United Nations itself in 1945, the International Court of Justice in 1946 and Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. It had already become clear at the top-level conferences of Teheran (1943), Yalta (February 1945) and Potsdam (July-August 1945) that there was a gulf in what constituted universal values and goals between the United States and its fellow democracies and the Soviet Union. Stalin was interested above all in security for his regime and for the Soviet Union, and that to him meant taking territory, from Poland and other neighbours, and establishing a ring of buffer states around Soviet borders. In the longer run, where the western powers saw a democratic and liberal world, he dreamed of a communist one. The grand alliance held together uneasily for the first months of the peace, but the strains were evident in their shared occupation of Germany, where increasingly the Soviet zone of occupation was moving in a communist direction and the western zones, under Britain, France and the United States, in a more capitalist and democratic one. By 1947, two very different German societies were emerging. In addition, the western powers watched with growing consternation and alarm the elimination of non-communist political forces in eastern Europe and the establishment of Peoples' Republics under the thumb of the Soviet Union. Soviet pressure on its neighbours, from Norway in the north to Turkey and Iran in the south, along with Soviet spy rings and Soviet-inspired sabotage in western countries, further deepened western concerns. For their part, Soviet leaders looked on western talk of such democratic procedures as free elections in eastern Europe as Trojan horses designed to undermine their control of their buffer states, and regarded the Marshall plan, which funnelled American aid into Europe, as a cover for extending the grip of capitalism. Furthermore, their own Marxist-Leninist analysis of history told them that sooner or later the capitalist powers would turn on the Soviet Union. Within two years ofsecond world war's end, the cold war was an established fact. Both sides built military alliances and prepared for the new shooting war that many feared was bound to come. In 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, giving it parity, at least in that area, with the United States. That the cold war did not in the end turn into a hot one was thanks to that fact. The terrifying new power of atomic weapons was to lead to a standoff suitably known as Mad Mutually Assured Destruction. The cold war overshadowed another momentous international change that came as a result of the second world war. Before 1939 much of the non-European world had been divided up among the great empires: the ones based in western Europe but also those of Japan and the Soviet Union. Japan and Italy lost their empires as a result of defeat. Britain, France, and the Netherlands all saw their imperial possessions disappear in the years immediately after the war. (The Soviet Union was not to lose its until the end of the cold war.) Empires crumble The former imperial powers no longer had the financial and military capacity to hang on to their vast territories. Nor did their peoples want to pay the price of empire, whether in money or blood. Furthermore, where the empires had once dealt with divided or acquiescent peoples, they now increasingly faced assertive and, in some cases, well-armed nationalist movements. The defeat of European forces all over Asia also contributed to destroying the myth of European power.

The British pulled out of India in 1947, leaving behind two new countries of India and Pakistan. Burma, Sri Lanka and Malaysia followed the road of independence not long after. The Dutch fought a losing war but finally conceded independence to Indonesia, the former Dutch East Indies, in 1949. France tried to regain its colonies in Indochina but was forced out in 1954 after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Vietnamese forces. The Europeans' African empires crumbled in the 1950s and early 1960s. The United Nations grew from 51 nations in 1945 to 189 by the end of the century. Because of the cold war, there was no comprehensive peace settlement after the second world war as there had been in 1919. Instead there were a number of separate agreements or ad hoc decisions. In Europe most of the borders that had been established at the end of the first world war were restored. The Soviet Union seized back some bits of territory such as Bessarabia, which it had lost to Romania in 1919. The one major exception was Poland, as the joke had it "a country on wheels", which moved some 200 miles to the west, losing some 69,000 sq metres to the Soviet Union and gaining slightly less from Germany in the west. In the east, Japan of course lost the conquests it had made since 1931, but was also obliged to disgorge Korea and Formosa (now Taiwan) and the Pacific islands that it had gained decades earlier. Eventually the United States and Japan concluded a formal peace in 1951. Because of an outstanding dispute over some islands, the Soviet Union and its successor Russia have not yet signed a peace treaty ending the war with Japan. Remembering the war We have long since absorbed and dealt with the physical consequences of the second world war, but it still remains a very powerful set of memories. How societies remember and commemorate the past often says something about how they see themselves and can be highly contentious. Particularly in divided societies, it is tempting to cling to comforting myths to help bring unity and to paper over deep and painful divisions. In the years immediately after 1945, many societies chose to forget the war or remember it only in certain ways. Austria portrayed itself as the first victim of Nazism, conveniently ignoring the active support that so many Austrians had given the Nazi regime. In Italy, the fascist past was neglected in favour of the earlier periods of Italian history. For a long time, schools did not teach any history after the first world war. Italians were portrayed in films or books as essentially good-hearted and generally opposed to Mussolini, whose regime was an aberration in an otherwise liberal state. In France, the Vichy period, after France's defeat by Germany, when there was widespread French collaboration, some of it enthusiastically antisemitic and pro-Nazi, was similarly ignored. From de Gaulle onwards, French leaders played up the resistance in such a way as to claim its moral authority but also to imply that it was more broadly based and widespread than it actually was. West Germany was not able to escape its past so easily; under pressure from the allies and from within, it dealt much more thoroughly with its Nazi past. In West German schools, children learned about the horrors committed by the regime. East Germany, by contrast, took no responsibility, instead blaming the Nazis on capitalism. Indeed, many East Germans grew up believing that their country had fought with the Soviet Union against Hitler's regime. In the east, Japan has been accused of ignoring its aggression in the 1930s and its own war crimes in China and elsewhere, but in recent years it has moved to teach more about this dark period in its history. How should the past be remembered? When should we forget? These are not easy questions. Acknowledging such difficult parts of the past is not always easy and has led to history

becoming a political football in a number of countries. In Japan, the conservatives minimise Japanese responsibility for the war and downplay atrocities on nationalist grounds. Japan, they argue, should not apologise for the past when all powers were guilty of aggression. It has not necessarily been easier among the nations on the winning side. When French and foreign historians first began examining the Vichy period in France critically, they were attacked from both the right and the left for stirring up memories that were best left undisturbed. When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was, for a time, a willingness among Russians to acknowledge that many crimes were committed in Stalin's regime in the course of the war, whether the mass murder of Polish army officers at Katyn or the forcible deportation of innocent Soviet citizens to Siberia. Today, the conservatives argue that such criticism of the great patriotic war only gives comfort to Russia's foes. Britain and Canada played a major role in the mass bombing campaign of German cities and towns; suggestions that the destruction of Dresden or other targets that may have had little military significance might be war crimes causes impassioned debate in both countries. That the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been morally wrong or unnecessary causes equal controversy in the United States. Today, particularly in the countries that were on the winning side, there is a reluctance to disturb our generally positive memories of the war by facing such issues. The second world war, especially in the light of what came after, seems to be the last morally unambiguous war. The Nazis and their allies were bad and they did evil things. The allies were good and right to fight them. That is true, but the picture is not quite as black and white as we might like to think. After all, one ally was the Soviet Union, in its own way as guilty of crimes against humanity as Nazi Germany, fascist Italy or Japan. Britain and France may have been fighting for liberty, but they were not prepared to extend it to their empires. And Dresden, or the firebombing of Hamburg, Tokyo and Berlin, the forcible repatriation of Soviet prisoners of war, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, should remind us that bad things can be done in the name of good causes. Let us remember the war, but let us not remember it simplistically but in all its complexity.

Q: What economic and political problems troubled Europe in the years after World War I? The main economical trouble in Europe was the Great Depression. This caused political trouble as well. Other political troubles were the takeover of the German Reichstag, or parliament, by Hitler and his subsequent rein as Chancellor and then dictator of Germany. Q: How did World War II start? Hitler and the Nazis faked a Polish attack on a minor German radio station in order to justify a German invasion of Poland. This in turn justified Great Britain and France to declare war. Q: What happened during the Holocaust? The Holocaust was the period of time when Germans slaughtered millions of people they found inferior.These included Jews, Blacks, and homosexuals. Q: What Allied victories brought an end to WWII?

The allied victories that ended the war were the victories at Normandy. This was the big push into German occupied territory that ended WW2. Q: What problems in Europe lead to World War II, the deadliest war in history?: The causes of World War II was resulting from world war one and the effects of the Great Depression. World War II started after these aggressive actions were met with an official declaration of war. The loss of life of millions of people can be attributed to the causes of World War II.

Consequences Death destruction When World War II ended in 1945, most of Europe lay in ruins. German cities like Dresden and Hamburg had practically been cremated from day-and-night Allied fire-bombings. Warsaw had been almost leveled to the ground by the Germans. The scorched-earth policies of both the Nazis and the Soviets had left much of European Russia, the Ukraine and the Baltic States almost totally destroyed. The Nazi death camps had consumed not only the lives of six million Jews, but an equivalent number of Poles, Gypsies and other undesirables. Two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki lay incinerated from atomic blasts. Eight years of war and Japanese occupation in China had uprooted millions of Chinese who had taken refuge in the wild and hostile regions of western China; and tens of thousands had died trying to make their escape. Fifty million lives were consumed by the war. The words of English historian Robert Mackenzie, in describing Europe at the beginning of the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars, are even more apt in expressing the events of the Second World War: "The interests of peace withered in the storm; the energies of all nations, the fruits of all industries were poured forth in the effort to destroy. From the utmost North to the shores of the Mediterranean, from the confines of Asia to the Atlantic, men toiled to bum each other's cities, to waste each other's fields, to destroy each other's lives. In some lands there was heard the

shout of victory, in some the wail of defeat. In all lands waste of war had produced bitter poverty; grief and fear were in every home." Why? For what cause, for what purpose, did men set loose the forces of destruction in this bonfire of the insanities? The answers are simple: collectivism and nationalism; utopian visions and ideological fanaticism; and the will to power. And the demons had been set loose on the world. Before the war had even come to a close, Russia was swept by revolution. Tired and hungry, the Russian people wanted peace. The Czar abdicated in February 1917. But the provisional government of center-left political forces that replaced the monarchy insisted upon pursuing the war on the Allied side against Germany. This gave the Bolsheviks under Lenin the opportunity to play to the masses with the slogan "peace, bread and land." But the tide of collectivist ideology was not limited to the Soviet Union, Italy and Germany. Except for Czechoslovakia, all of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were controlled by authoritarian regimes characterized by regulated economics and denial of civil liberties. And in Western Europe, the political course of events was no different. Both the Conservative and Labor Parties in Great Britain were dedicated to the interventionist-welfare state. After 1931, Great Britain was off the gold standard, free trade was replaced by protectionism, and public-works projects were used to fight unemployment. And in France, center-left governments followed similar policies. In Asia, China was ruled by the Nationalist (Kuomintang) Party under Chiang Kai-Shek, who was attempting to introduce "modernization" through state economic intervention and fascist-type planning. At the same time, large areas of the country were controlled either by local warlords or Mao Tse-tung's communist forces. And Japan, with its own fascist-style economic order, was attempting to establish its own imperial empire in Manchuria and the rest of China.

In the United States, collectivism was triumphant as well. In the 1920s, the Republican administrations, in spite of free-enterprise rhetoric, established various government-business partnerships in the name of economic "rationalization." Federal Reserve central-banking policy was geared to managing the economy through monetary manipulation. And when the fruits of central-bank, monetary central-planning resulted in the "great crash" of October 1929, the Hoover administration responded with even greater state intervention and governmental spending. The result was the Great Depression. With the coming of the New Deal in 1933, following the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, America was subjected to its own brand of economic fascism, as the government imposed comprehensive controls and regulations on practically every aspect of economic life. The New Deal experience even led Mussolini to say that he greatly admired Franklin Roosevelt because with these policies, Roosevelt had shown that he, too, was a "social fascist." By the middle of the 1930s, collectivism was triumphant. Hardly a comer of the world was left which was not under the control of governments dedicated to a planned economy dedicated to expanded state power. And the conditions were now in place for conflict and war. The politicizing of economic and social life meant that every dispute every disagreement in the world arena were now matters of national interest and ideological victory or defeat. Every nation-state made itself an economic fortress, surrounded with trade barriers and economic weapons of way. And matching the economic weapons of nationalist rivalry was the growth of a vast armaments race. The political means used by all of these nation-states were similar. What separated them were the ends for which these means were being applied. For the Soviets, the goal was Marxist revolution and communism. For the fascists, it was nationalist power and imperialism. For the Nazis, it was racial supremacy and "living room" for the German people. For the British and the French, it was maintenance of their colonial empires and economic domination of world trade. For Japan, it was an economic empire in China and political

domination of East Asia. For the United States, it was the consolidation of the "achievements" of the New Deal at home and, by the late 1930s, the spreading of New Deal ideology to the rest of the world. The events of the 1930s events that brought the world into total war were the natural results of the emergence of the total collectivist state. With the demise of classical liberalism and its philosophy of limited government and individual liberty the demons of statolatry encompassed the globe. The competing collectivisms were inevitably bound to clash in the struggle for ideological supremacy. And the clashes of these competing statisms formed the backdrop for the beginning of World War II.

This map shows the position of various European countries during the period of World War II.

This picture shows a German anti-aircraft gun that is being used by the british after it was captured

This painting shows a U.S. cargo ship unloading scrap materials, indicating both Nazi and U.S. air force losses to be recycled.

The Mythic Flag rising at Iwo Jima

Deaths per country by number and percentage of population, with piechart of percentage of military and civilian deaths for the Allied and the Axis Powers

Military deaths during World War II for the Allied and the Axis Powers by alliance, theater, year.

Military and civilian deaths during World War II for the Allied and the Axis Powers.

Axis Military personnel killed, percentage by country.

USA annual real GDP from 191060, with the years of the Great Depression (19291939) highlighted.

Unemployment rate in the US 19101960, with the years of the Great Depression (19291939) highlighted.

Germany after Versailles

Annexed by neighbouring countries Administered by the League of Nations Weimar Germany

An elderly lady in front of the bodies of school children inBraunschweig, Germany, after a bombing raid

Photo by US Army The huge atomic cloud 6 August, 1945. A Uranium bomb, the first nuclear weapon in the world, was dropped in Hiroshima City. It was estimated that its energy was equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT. Aerial photograph from the 80 kilometers away of the Inland Sea, taken about 1 hour after the dropping.

Photo by US Army The ruins of fire in Kako-machi. The stone monument was left alone. The A-bomb Dome is seen in the far distance.

The Atomic Bomb Dome

Photo: Ohmura Navy Hospital A girl with her skin hanging in strips, at Ohmura Navy Hospital on August 10-11.

Melted Sake Bottles--Photo by Hiromi Tsuchiya

Binoculars--Masami Tsuchiya (25 at the time), a second lieutenant, was in the First Army Hospital (900 meters from the hypocenter) for an appendectomy. On August 7, a corpsman found Masami's dead body, part skeleton. He was identified only by the name on the towel in his hand. He was scheduled to leave the hospital that day.

Lunch Box--Reiko Watanabe (15 at the time) was doing fire prevention work under the Student Mobilization Order, at a place 500 meters from the hypocenter. Her lunch box was found by school authorities under a fallen mud wall. Its contents of boiled peas and rice, a rare feast at that time, were completely carbonized. Her body was not found.

The Atomic Shadow--The shadows of the parapets were imprinted on the road surface of the Yorozuyo Bridge, 1/2 of a mile south-southwest of the hypocenter. It is one of the important clues for establishing the location of the epicenter. Photo: US Army

Wounded Horse--The bomb not only hurt people but animals (burnt hip skin)

Person suffering burns from thermal radiation after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Japan in World War II.

The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the hypocenter.

"Selection" on the Judenrampe, Auschwitz, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant slave labor; to the left, the gas chamber. This image shows the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of them from the Berehov ghetto. The photographer was Ernst Hofmann or Bernhard Walter of the SS. Image courtesy of Yad Vashem.[1]